by Stephen Downes
Dec 09, 2016
The Future Trends Forum at the Campus Technology conference, 2016
Stephen Downes, Dec 09, 2016, Bryan Alexander, Boston, Massachusetts
Dean Groom comments circumspectly about a phenomenon that has long existed in ed tech, the self-promotion of people in social media by people seeking to become recognized as authorities by dint of claiming ownership over words and inventions, forming self-referential circles of non-competitive entrepreneurs, and domination of various Twitter hastag discussions He writes, "It is a deliberate practice of seeking illusory power and influence based on nothing more than entertainment, names and naming." And it causes real harm. "The explosion of media messages these people flood into the media discourse is deliberate. It ensures there is no way to reconcile conflicting claims about what is good."
This is a nice corrective to the recent panic about children's screen time. Their parents account for more than their own fair share! "On any given day, parents of American tweens and teens average more than nine hours with screen media each day. Eighty-two percent of that time (almost eight hours) is devoted to personal screen media activities such as watching TV, social networking, and video gaming, with the rest used for work." It has not helped them spot fake news. The full report (52 page PDF) is available, but you may have to go through an intrusive
spam info collection registration process. See also coverage on KidScreen.
According to this news release, "the OLC Quality Scorecard uses research-based benchmarks and standards of excellence to help higher education institutions evaluate their online and blended learning programs." By demail, Jennifer Mathes wrote, "OLC has announced that our Course Design Review (through a partnership with SUNY) and the new Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice (QCTIP) Scorecard are available on the OLC website with our full Suite of Quality Scorecards. These tools are available in a PDF format for anyone to download." These should be useful to a wide audience.
When I've worked in the Arab world the question has come up frequently about the public perception of the quality of online learning. This study of respondents from the business sector in Oman and Egypt confirms that there are doubts about the quality of online learning in the region. "Traditional degrees are still more preferable than online degrees in the Arab world for many reasons, such as the reality of online interaction between students and the instructor and among students, accessibility resources, credibility of online universities, and quality of content."
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